Pommes Anna is another classic French dish. Now of course there is a "right" way to make this recipe (which is only potatoes and butter), but I've changed and added a couple things that I liked from a couple different recipes. The only thing I suggest is using a mandoline because your job will go so much quicker, but if you don't you can always slice these by hand. This came out so awesome with such little effort- just a little time. Seriously, next time I have guests over I will definitely be making this. If you like potato chips- you're going to love this. I served as part of a meal (so I definitely had leftovers- but no worries you could even eat this for breakfast!) or you can make it a whole meal by layering some meat or veggies inside, or along side something else of course.
The mandoline is definitely a favorite of mine, I'm so excited when I get to use it! If I were to just slice the potatoes and fry them in oil- wha-la! potato chips! So if you don't have one just cut the potatoes as thin as you can. Be careful either way you slice it though (No pun intended)
Cast Iron Skillets: If you don't have one- I'm sure grandma has one that she might hand down to you one day- that's where I got mine anyway. They aren't too pricey and have many uses. I'm pretty sure mine is a 10 inch skillet- so this recipe makes for about 4-6 people. If you want to make it smaller, obviously go for a smaller pan. The difference of a cast iron skillet (besides being extremely heavy) is the retention and distribution of heat. Basically it can get really hot and stay really hot for a while and the whole pan gets real hot evenly (even the handle so watch out!) which equals even cooking. And in this case the potatoes get real crispy.
(Remember: bigger the pan, more potatoes you are going to need)
5 medium sized potatoes (I used Russet)
oil, salt, pepper, cooking spray
a cheese of your choice (I used a mixture of Parmesan and Pecorino Romano)
Preheat the oven to 425°
Wash the potatoes (I leave the skin on, you can always peel if you want to). Slice them into coins using your mandoline or a knife. I would say the thicker they are the longer you will want to cook for.
Coat the whole skillet with some oil- sides and bottom- I used a basting brush to help me.
You need to work fast because you don't want the potatoes to discolor. You might also know a trick where you soak the potatoes in water with some lemon or vinegar- but don't do this- it will wash off the starch and the cake wont stick together as well. Start by layering the coins in a circular fashion- taking into account that the bottom layer will become the top of the cake- so make it pretty!
After each layer spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with some salt and pepper.
I did two layers of potato and then a layer of cheese- and repeat.
As you go-try and push down and compact the cake as much as possible.
When you are all done layering, put it on the stove top for about 7 mins over med-high flame. We want to just help it start to get crispy.
Slide into the oven and bake for 25 mins
After 25 mins, take it out and use a lid or dish to help you cover and pour out any excess oil- because we need to flip this cake over and we don't want to be burned by the oil.
After the oil is out flip over (I had to flip out onto a cutting board and then slide back into the pan because the cast iron is super heavy) and put back into the oven for another 15 mins.
Then just slice and I served with some sour cream!
Almost looks like a pepperoni pizza!
Remember: You can pick any cheese you like- or omit it all together!
You could also do this with sweet potatoes! I am definitely going to try that next!